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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default WTF? Lennore Thompson's book and the secondary function

    So I am so confused.

    I thought you developed primary, then secondary, then tertiaty function, and that the slow growing on the tertiaty function was what causes folks to mature as they get older. Then all the other functions can sort of pop up at times and get you into trouble.

    But then in Lenorre's book she keeps stressing development of the secondary over the tertiary and then shoves a couple of eatra functions between the secondary and tertiary.

    To me NeFiTe makes sense and lord knows we would not turn the ship over to just Fi.

    Have i missed something here?

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    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Remember that it's just a theory. That is, there are people in her own field that disagree with her. So you're saying that you disagree with her? Or that you don't understand what she's arguing? If it bothers you that her point seems to contradict others' points, you might be right: she might contradict others' points.

    (I haven't read her stuff yet.)

    For example, someone wrote elsewhere on this site that "I'm an ENFJ, so I'm actually closer to ESFJ than to ENFP or INFJ." Lenore Thomson would agree with that, but David Keirsey wouldn't. (if I recall that correctly) It depends with which author you agree.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 03-26-2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: example
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  3. #3
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    I don't remember what Lenore said exactly, it's been awhile since I read her book, but things to keep in mind:

    1. The theory is the theory. And just like real life, almost no one ever fits the ideal. Just look around this site and you'll see people who are not "textbook" types. We all develop things to some degree off the ideal. Many people have an "extra" developed function that doesn't go by the book -- we all do crazy things to survive, and each family situation growing up is different. Functions are "preference," you know -- and necessity [for survival] can override preference, thus breaking the default function tree.

    2. We all need a function to interact with the external world. Extroverts' primary interacts directly with the external world. Which function is extroverted for the introvert? That's right, the secondary. So introverts naturally develop their secondary more strongly than extrovert develops their [introverted] secondary. In fact, since the extroverted function is what is visible, sometimes introverts can be misread as their secondary if you just go by appearances. You have to look at how the visible function is being used, + the energy requirements of the person, to help determine type.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
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    The internet is screwing you.

  5. #5
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy puppy View Post
    So I am so confused.

    I thought you developed primary, then secondary, then tertiaty function, and that the slow growing on the tertiaty function was what causes folks to mature as they get older. Then all the other functions can sort of pop up at times and get you into trouble.

    But then in Lenorre's book she keeps stressing development of the secondary over the tertiary and then shoves a couple of eatra functions between the secondary and tertiary.

    To me NeFiTe makes sense and lord knows we would not turn the ship over to just Fi.

    Have i missed something here?
    Lenore's advice is sound and really does work in practice. No matter how well developed the tertiary function, it gets very defensive under pressure. It tells the dominant to carry on doing what it's always done, the problem is everyone else's fault. When the going gets tough, it's advice is always the same, regardless of function type: Run Away!

    That can mean literally running away (for extraverts) or running into the security of your inner world (for introverts). This approach serves to relieve our stress in the short term (another name for the tertiary is the "Relief" function), but ensures that the same issues will crop up again later as we have not really dealt with them or learned anything new.

    Developing and using our auxiliary seems to be the only effective long-term solution to the recurring dilemmas in our lives. It forces us to take a different approach than we are accustomed to; it also allows us to deal with our less preferred territory (Introversion or Extraversion) on it's own terms, instead of fobbing it off or avoiding it. It means taking the High Road instead of searching for an escape route. It is not easy; it forces us to make compromises and adjustments and - God forbid! - it may even allow us to admit that we were wrong or mistaken about something, which Westerners find very hard to do.

    Most importantly of all, it is the path of growth for all types. Once the auxiliary is working nicely to balance out our dominant approach, all the other functions start to fall in line and start working the way they were designed to do. Otherwise, they tend to get out of control and go to war with each other. Look around at other people: how many of us can honestly say that we are not riven by unresolvable internal conflicts on a frequent basis?

    As for the chapter in her book on the four "shadow" functions, that info has now been superseded by the work of John Beebe and others. Just ignore that chapter - Lenore herself knows that it is out of date. Every thing else in her book has stood the test of time and is still applicable today.

    I have done some counselling work, and if I know a person's type then I always try and get them to apply their auxiliary to their problems. I don't always use the technical jargon, of course, but that is the single best piece of advice I can offer. It supplies a person with the necessary tools to sort out their own dilemmas, or at least to know where to go to find a solution.

    To use myself as an example, my auxiliary is Fe. My natural tendency is to try and solve all my problems on my own using tertiary Ti. If I can't solve them, then Ti will convince me they're not worth it, just ignore them completely and hope they go away on their own. Despite myself, I still do this a lot of the time. Sometimes, however, I "wake up" and remember Lenore's advice to use Fe instead of Ti. That usually means I need to get up off my ass and go talk to someone I trust for their advice and opinions on my dilemma. Even if they don't provide the answer, simply doing this enables me to see the problem in a new light and to decide on an appropriate course of action.
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

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    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

    - Kate Bush

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollanaut View Post
    ...To use myself as an example, my auxiliary is Fe. My natural tendency is to try and solve all my problems on my own using tertiary Ti. If I can't solve them, then Ti will convince me they're not worth it, just ignore them completely and hope they go away on their own. Despite myself, I still do this a lot of the time. Sometimes, however, I "wake up" and remember Lenore's advice to use Fe instead of Ti. That usually means I need to get up off my ass and go talk to someone I trust for their advice and opinions on my dilemma. Even if they don't provide the answer, simply doing this enables me to see the problem in a new light and to decide on an appropriate course of action.
    Similarly it's come up in discussion at our sister site. Barring that some of the young INTPs there are not really closet ISTPs, tertiary Si often gets paired with the primary Ti due to its "security" factor -- they're both introverted functions, and the main way INTPs seem to deal with social/external stress is to withdraw or hide in the castle. This is a very strong Si trait; it is tempting to do the withdraw thing and find a self-supporting source of data. When this happens, Ti uses Si to build a circular insulatory loop that prevents any engagement of the external world and thus offers a great amount of security and also remove the need to address any inadequacy in social skills.

    The general advice for such INTPs is to engage Ne, the secondary, which allows for the introduction of fresh data and new ideas constantly to their judgment process, thus continuously expanding their view of the world. Ne is also the "gateway" function to F for the INTP -- the intuitive quality can be used to pick up vibes as well as emulate empathy on an intellectual basis. However, this can be frightening because Ne is open-ended; it demands the ability to engage without knowing everything up front, and then use Ti on the fly... which is why some INTPs pull back from it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    I wonder if that explains the usage of my functions. At times I feel like I'm so incredibly introverted. I've started to wonder if my 6 year bout with depression caused me to have overdeveloped introverted functions of all 4 types. I've taken tests, and talked to some people that claim I seem to use all 4 a lot, but rely on Si the most. Back to the four functions of ISTJ, SiTeFiNe, I think because of my overdeveloped Fi, I tend to close off the usage of Te in interaction with the world. I've noticed a lot lately over the last 6 months, that even though I have the capacity to create this immense structure on my life, I only do it as a self-defense.

    But, when I'm afraid to extravert to get something done because I feel like I should know better, is that Fi butting in or Te adhering to the rules of Si? Jennifer was right that in our world, extraverts can get by a lot easier depending on their dominant. Introverts are forced to develop their secondary and sink or swim. It's like watching an ESFP who hasn't developed Fi enough to place moral judgment on what Se is doing, or an ENTP who hasn't acknowledged Ti to begin dissecting and analyzing the ideas that Ne brings in.

    Or you can do the skip a function or two and go to your tertiary or inferior which is going to be wholly undeveloped to solve a problem like the INTP example above. It's like an ISTJ trying to force the usage of Ne to bring in some new ideas, but because of the lack of understanding of Ne, it will be subject to the whims of Te and Si, putting the ideas it gives through a concrete structure.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollanaut View Post
    As for the chapter in her book on the four "shadow" functions, that info has now been superseded by the work of John Beebe and others. Just ignore that chapter - Lenore herself knows that it is out of date.
    Could you tell me where you heard that from?

  9. #9
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMTIC View Post
    Could you tell me where you heard that from?
    Follow this link for a fascinating article written by Lenore herself, where she expands her ideas to include Beebe's insights:

    http://www.greatlakesapt.org/uploads/media/beebe1.PDF
    INFJ 9w1 sx/sp/so

    "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to." - Gandalf The Grey

    And if I only could,
    I'd make a deal with God,
    And I'd get him to swap our places,
    Be running up that road,
    Be running up that hill,
    With no problems.

    - Kate Bush

  10. #10
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    Thanks
    It's a really nice article but I can't see where she says her "functions in between" theory is out of date. (When you talk about her shadow function theory, you're referring to her crow's nest and double agent functions, which she put in between the dominant/auxiliary and tertiary/inferior, right?)

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